A pooled income trust allows individuals to preserve their trust resources for living expenses while remaining eligible for public assistance benefit programs like Medicaid. These trusts are operated by certain nonprofit organizations such as Life, Inc., United Community Services Disability Pooled Trust (UCS Trust Services) and NYSARC. If you are considering a pooled income trust in New York for a disabled loved one, consult with an experienced estate planning lawyer as soon as possible.
How a trust can protect benefit eligibility
Public assistance programs such as SSI and Medicaid can greatly improve a person’s quality of life. However, they do not provide funds for life-enhancing or supplement needs. Unfortunately, current Medicaid law in New York requires that individuals spend down any monthly income in excess of the Medicaid monthly income allowance on medical or home care services or Medicaid coverage will not kick-in.
By depositing your monthly income into a pooled income trust, however, the income is no longer counted as funds that need to be spent down to meet the Medicaid threshold. This allows you receive Medicaid for home care while protecting your monthly assets for living expenses as well as supplemental needs.
What individuals can benefit from a pooled income trust?
A pooled income trust allows people of any age to become financially qualified for public assistance benefits, including:
- Minors with special needs
- Applicants for government assistance programs
- Individuals who obtain personal injury settlements who need to apply for, or protect, government benefits
- Beneficiaries of government programs
- Seniors who are ill and are living at home
While not for everyone, pooled income trusts can dramatically increase the quality of life of recipients.
Pooled income trust funds may be used for a range of expenses
The funds in a pooled income trust may be used for a variety of items, including:
- Basic living costs such as food, clothing, shelter
- Private pay care services
- Rent, utility bills or real estate taxes
- Any medical procedures not covered through government assistance
- Additional nursing care
- Travel and entertainment costs
- Attorney and guardian expenses
To join a pooled income trust, you must meet certain requirements. First, you must be disabled. Second, the funds being transferred to the trust must belong to you. A knowledgeable attorney can explain the other requirements you must meet before you can join a pooled income trust.
Compassionate trust attorneys in New York
The Law Offices of Lissner & Lissner is committed to helping disabled New Yorkers with trusts, guardianships, and other legal mechanisms that improve quality of life. For more information about pooled income trusts in New York, call (212) 307-1499 or contact us online today.